Country Day student's documentary shows teen anxiety, daily pressure

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Country Day student Chloe Kiriluk is breaking the stigma that is very much alive in these hallways. It's OK to admit you're anxious.

Chloe has battled it for years, and the do-or-die culture around test taking around this time isn't helping.

"There is this huge amount of pressure on teenagers to perform well, to get into great schools, do well on your test and exams and it's just a lot," she said.

A lot that quickly becomes too much. The first punch is the pressure to out-perform everyone. The second punch is they're afraid to ask for help when the anxiety adds up.  

"B students do great in life. I was definitely a B student," said Eva Dodds.

Dodds is a B student who got her graduate degree from Harvard. Now Dodds is a college counselor for College Wise, helping families understand what they need to do to succeed.

"There are a much higher number of applicants to colleges now and because they have larger volumes with (the various) applications, and because more students are applying to college now, the typical application read is 3 to 8 minutes," Dodds said. "And in that time they have to evaluate everything about a student."

Chloe hopes the video she made helps other students realize that the pressure to ace every exam adds up.  

"It's really important to look at the bigger picture, that's what I do a lot," she said. "So let's I am studying for a test that's tomorrow and I say oh no I'm going to fail, what if I don't do well? Well I take a step back, stop what I do and say look, you studied as much as you could, just take the test and see what's going to happen."

This month experts are setting aside May to think about mental health. Tonight, that means paying attention to your high school student. Zoom out and realize their mental health comes first.  

"The family becomes obsessed with, you have to get that ACT higher, you have to get that GPA higher up, or you won't," Dodds said. "What a student hears is, I'm not good enough.  I'm not good enough for my family, I'm not good enough for my teacher, my coach, and they escalate it from my culture," she said.

>>>WATCH Chloe's documentary "Teen Anxiety" here.